Thank you to the lovely people at Dymocks at Garden City in WA, who created the wonderful window display pictured below, for my new book A Month of Sundays. There is more about the book and how I came to write it in my blog Women, books and reading.
Thank you to everyone who entered my competition. I’m pleased to announce the winners are: Colleen Taylor, Lynne Kibble, Sue Ellen LePage, Anne Moorehouse, Kym Woods and Corinne Johnston. An email has gone out to you all requesting your address so you can receive your prize. I do hope you enjoy reading A Month of Sundays.
I’d also like to thank everyone who included personal messages to me with their competition entries. There are simply too many for me to respond to you all, but I appreciate your lovely comments about my books and I’m pleased you like the new look website.
It’s almost the end of June and my new book will be in the bookshops in a few days. It’s always an exciting but also a nerve wracking time: waiting to see it on the shelves, worrying whether people will like it or be disappointed. But it’s an enormous thrill to stand in a bookshop and see the books lined up and people studying the cover, flicking through the pages and reading the first few lines.
A Month of Sundays is similar to my previous novels in that it is a story about four women, four very different women, who are all at some sort of turning point in their lives. In fact, it’s a book about women, books and reading – my three favourite things – oh and of course it’s about getting old, so actually my four favourite things! But it’s also different from some of my other novels because usually the characters move around quite a bit, but in this one they’re heading from their homes in different parts of Australia, to a beautiful house in the Blue Mountains where they will meet each other face-to face for the first time.
Ros, Adele, Simone and Judy are the last surviving members of an online book club. They’ve talked books once a month on Skype for years but never met in person. Now Adele has been offered the use of a gorgeous house in the mountains and she’s asked the others to join her. It’s a bit of a risk for all of them; the book club has been their comfort zone, and now they’re going to test that pleasant but slightly awkward connection by living together for a month. And there’s a challenge; each one has to bring a book that will tell the others more about her. Will their club survive the proximity, or will they walk away from it having lost something that’s become special to all of them? Well I’m not going to tell you too much more about that! But I will tell you why I decided to write this.
I’ve always felt that women have a special connection to books, we buy and read more books than most men and we seem to be deeply attached to them, especially to novels written by women. In the past when women were excluded from public discourse, when they were confined at home, and their friendships were viewed with suspicion, they learned about each other through novels, particularly those written by women. For writers it was a way to reach out to others, and for readers a way to see their own lives and others through the characters. They saw that the way they felt, the things they longed for or wanted to rid themselves of, their strengths and weaknesses, their anxiety and loneliness, their pleasures and satisfactions, even their resentments, were not peculiar to them. They learned that they were not alone. I’m fascinated by the connections between women and their books, and I’ve been working for some time on a non-fiction book about it, but I keep getting in a mess with it, putting it aside for a while and going back to it again, and again. I thought that writing a novel might help me to work out what I’m trying to do.
I’m also interested in book clubs: the sheer number and diversity of them, the fact that it is predominantly women who set them up and attend regularly, and how significant they are to the members. And I very much admire the discipline that makes people commit to read a book chosen by someone else, on a regular basis. I am such a picky reader and always have a stack of books that I’ve chosen and that I’m dying to read, so while I do read books recommended by friends, I don’t have the discipline to stick with them if I don’t like them after the first two or three chapters. I enjoy talking books informally with friends, but I just don’t have the discipline for a club.
So, what I set out to do in A Month of Sundays was to put four strong minded women in their late sixties and seventies together in a house together for a few weeks and see what happened. It didn’t turn out as I anticipated, but then it never does. Oh! By the way, I forgot to mention, that there is fifth member of this book club – a cocker spaniel called Clooney. He doesn’t do a lot of reading, but he does stir things up from time to time. So it’s not just four but five of my favourite things: women, books, reading, getting old and dogs! I hope you’ll enjoy it.
A Month of Sundays will be in the bookshops next Tuesday, and to celebrate I’m giving away 6 signed copies.
To be eligible for the competition you need to follow my blog…. either as an existing follower or by joining it now. To join, just go to my website and enter your email in the “Follow my Blog” field on the left side of any webpage, and click on the black “FOLLOW” button.
If you already follow the blog – go to the Contact page of my website and fill out the form, putting the words “Month of Sundays” into the comment field. Please also include your name in the contact field.
One entry per person please –duplicate entries will be removed!
The competition closes at 4pm on Sunday 24 June. Six winners will be chosen at random and their names will be published on my Facebook page and blog. The winners will be contacted by email so they can provide their postal addresses. The quicker you respond, the quicker you will receive your prize in the post.
While you are entering the competition, I hope you enjoy the new look website.
Just letting you know about the event to launch my new book A Month of Sundays on Wednesday 4 July at the Parmelia Hilton Perth. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Meri Fatin about the book – and of course to enjoying the delicious morning tea that the Hilton always puts on. Thank you in advance to Ann Poublon from Dymocks Garden City who not only organises great book events, but does so much to support Western Australian writers.
All the details of the event are below. I know the tickets are selling fast so if you are interested, book soon. I hope to see you at the Hilton.
Well here it is at last! The gorgeous cover of my new book, A Month of Sundays, I am so thrilled with it – I’ve never had an interior shot on a cover before and this one absolutely hits the spot.
A Month of Sundays is about four women of a certain age: Ros, Adele, Judy and Simone, who all live in different locations in Australia. They are the remaining members of an on-line book club, and have met at a distance once a month for several years but never face to face. When Adele is invited to house-sit for a few weeks in the Blue Mountains she invites the other three to join her. It’s a chance to meet at last, in a beautiful location: to relax, read and talk about books, and each one must choose a book through which the others will get to know her better. As they head for the hills and meet for the first time each one is facing a turning point, and wondering too, whether several weeks under the same roof will make or break their tenuous book club connection.
For a long time I’ve been trying to write a non-fiction book about women and reading. I keep running out of time, and finding I’m not really sure what I want to say or how to say it. I thought that perhaps writing a novel about women and reading might help me get a better grip on it. So I hope you’ll enjoy A Month of Sundays, and that if you are in a book club, or you like sharing your books and talking about them with friends, you’ll feel it reflects that special reading connection which is so significant for so many of us.
A Month of Sundays will be available in the books shops from 26th June, and if you want you can also order it in advance from your favourite bookseller.
Closer to the release date I will be running a competition and giving away some copies of A Month of Sundays. So stay tuned!
Thank you to everyone who entered my Mother’s Day competition. Our two winners are Sherrill Christensen and Veronica Kerr. Congratulations, an email has gone out to you both so you can choose your books for me to post to you. I do hope you enjoy reading them.
To all readers of my blog I would like to say thank you for your continuing loyalty and messages. I’m really pleased to know how much you are looking forward to the new book. I will tell you more in a new blog coming soon– so stay tuned!